Devil's Well, The
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Karla Marks mysteriously vanishes while conducting a paranormal investigation with her husband into the Devil's Well, an underground location reported to be a gateway straight into hell, and the site of ongoing strange phenomenon. A year after her disappearance, a group of investigators go back to uncover the truth about Karla, and are faced with evil forces greater than they ever imagined.
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There's some good acting and some good writing here. Also, the cinematography together with the atmosphere it creates is compelling overall -- at least up until the last ten minutes of the movie or so. I consider documentary film making to be an art in itself. Making a movie that purports to be a documentary film (whether bona fide or parody) is by an order of magnitude more difficult still. This movie almost makes the grade -- almost. I think what's lacking is not so much technique as the absence of high concept that you find in so many indie films. I'm surprised they didn't go more daring on that, because there is talent here.
The film breaks down fairly neatly into two parts, the first part consisting of a series of interviews, the second being something along the lines of a reality t.v. show (with some elements of found footage into the mix). Constructing a narrative based on interviews has many challenges. For many reasons, it seems to lend itself to self-parody. Overall, it's pretty well done. The movie would have benefited from a stronger editorial presence during the interviews in the first half (it's like, who's asking the questions and why?). Following the transition to the "reality t.v." half, they'd have done well to focus on the inevitable hijinx that emerges when you get a group of young "wanna be" YouTube stars (they start to go there). On that note, the transition to the second style is a bit abrupt, but generally works. Then, at some point along the way things lose focus. Looking back over the decades, I remember thinking the Blair Witch Project was terribly overrated. However, the writer and director of BWP were able to sustain continuity of narrative amid the bloodletting lol through the use of certain motifs and through the invocations of certain tropes. I dunno, but the last third of this movie seems to lose grounding and lapses into every other movie of a similar ilk.
But, still, I kind of liked it.
Side note: I can't say for sure, but this movie seems to have some basis in the activities of an actual organization in Massachusetts, specifically one that has done research in an area near the town of Rehoboth in S.E. Massachusetts. They've been featured on the local news a number of times. At any rate, I've always found the development and dissemination of local lore quite fascinating. In these parts, it nearly always traces back to some spurious account of an early interaction of European settlers with the indigenous peoples of the region -- more than a template, it's virtually like coloring by numbers. You see this introduced early into this movie, and I wish they'd exploited it more as a basis for interrogating supernatural phenomenon (as opposed to highlighting the knee-jerk skepticism of the token cast cynic).
The cast are excellent at presenting their characters as believable. So much so that you can easily forget that none of this is real.
The overall mood of this film is excellent, and the ominous underscore and dark ambient music enhance the aesthetic. Ultimately, I did not like the reveal. I am a ghost hunting, found footage junkie, and will watch anything involving either of the two subjects, but the ending just did not do anything for me. Definitely worth a watch, but the ambiguous nature of the ending left me wanting a little more on which to chew. Otherwise, it's solid flick. It looks sharp, sounds clean, the mood is creepy, and the acting is pretty solid for the most part.
Most recent customer reviews
It’s not perfect. It’s low budget. It’s a slow burn. Yes, there is found footage.Read more
Story: same old same old. There are no redeeming qualities to this "film".Read more